These businesses are urging both sides of the Brexit talks to hammer out a transitional deal


Both sides of the Brexit talks have been urged to find a compromise (Source: Getty)

The government might not have had much luck getting businesses to sign its letter backing the way Theresa May and team have been handling Brexit, but the CBI has had rather more support for its own memo.

More than 100 businesses, including BT, Centrica and Zurich, have put their names to a letter urging Brexit secretary David Davis and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier to secure a transitional deal ahead of the fourth round of talks next week.

"Our businesses need to make decisions now about investment and employment that will affect economic growth and jobs in the future," the letter says. "Continuing uncertainty will adversely affect communities, employees, firms and our nations in the future. Businesses across the EU and UK are clear: being able to plan for a transition of up to three years that avoids a cliff edge is critical for our collective prosperity."

Businesses called on both sides to "be pragmatic and determined to move to the next stage of the negotiations". Talks have stalled in the first phase, with the EU insisting they cannot be further opened up to discuss trade and transition until the divorce bill has been agreed.

Davis has previously told MPs this could last the "entire duration"of talks, making the cliff edge scenario all the more likely. It is hoped that May's speech to EU27 leaders, which she will give in Florence on Friday, will address the settlement, but it is far from guaranteed.

"Until transitional arrangements can be agreed and trade discussed the risk of ‘no deal’ remains real and has to be planned for, with inevitable consequences for jobs and growth on both sides," the letter continues. "We ask you to ensure that substantive progress is achieved during the upcoming negotiations. Only this will give certainty on the rights of EU and UK citizens working abroad and enable discussion of transitional arrangements in October and trade, by the end of the year.

"Our shared interests vastly outweigh our differences, and we stand ready to help in any way we can to secure a successful outcome for the people and communities of the UK and the EU."

Here's the full list of companies that signed the letter: 

AON, AVK UK, Adnams Brewery, Alderley, Amcanu, Amtico Flooring, Ardmel Group, Auto Styling Truckman Group, BAM Nuttall, BHSF, BT Group, Bibby Line Group, Bishop Fleming, Bluestone Resort, Boge Compressors, Brian Hyde, CBRE, Cadent Gas, Centrica, Chapel Down Group, Charles Wells, Cole and Son, Coleg Cambria, Comtek Group, Cranswick, DAKS Simpson Group, Dalepak, Danlers, Devenish Nutrition, Don Whitley Scientific, Dragados, durhamlane, ENGIE, EnviroVent, FW Thorpe, Flowlens, Ford of Europe, Friisberg and Partners, Fuller, Smith and Turner, GKN, GRS Group, GUPTA Smart Energy, GVA, Gateshead College, Gatwick Airport, General Electric, Gieves & Hawkes, Gleeds Corporate Services, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Green Energy Options, Greenyard Fresh UK, Hallmark Cards, Harrods, Helen Amy Murray, Hermes Parcelnet, IBM United Kingdom, Identity Consult, Imerys Minerals, Incommunities Group, Integrity Print Ltd, J. Murphy & Sons, Jaguar Landrover Automotive, Johnson & Johnson, Jones Bros. Ruthin, Josephine Home, KEB, Kingsdown Compressed Air Systems, Kioti UK, Legrand Electric, Lewden Metal Products, Load-Lok Manufacturing, London City Airport, Manchester Airports Group, ManpowerGroup, Markes International, Marshfield Bakery, Medicash, Mercer, Michelmersh Brick Holdings, Moon Consulting, Morningside Pharmaceuticals, Mott Macdonald Group, Moy Park, Mulberry Group, Norbrook Laboratories, Omobono, PCME, Pinsent Masons, Prospa, RENOLIT Cramlington, RSA Group, Rank Brothers, Redwood Technologies Group, Rococo Chocolates, Rosewood London, Royal Crown Derby, Ryder Architecture, Saint-Gobain SA, Shawbrook Bank, Signum Corporate Communication, Smurfitt Kappa Group, Specialist People Services Group, St Austell Brewery, Stormpress, Sungift Solar, TWI Ltd, Tails Cocktails, The Maxol Group, Titon Holdings, Unipart Group, University of Salford, Vianet Group, wagamama, W&R Barnett, WDH, Ward Hadaway, Wates Group, Welbilt UK, Wessex Water Services, Yeo Valley, Yorkshire Building Society, Zurich Insurance Group.